Southern forests, European electricity?

August 19, 2014

Yep, you read that headline right. Across the beautiful, super-diverse and sometimes ancient woodlands of the southern US, entire forests are being leveled to feed European power plants. The driver is a loophole in European Union climate and clean energy law that prompted massive demand for wood pellets to fire electricity plants, mostly in the UK but increasingly throughout the continent. If this sounds crazy, that’s because it is. Totally crazy.

Cutting down rare and beautiful woodlands, chipping the whole trees into pellets and then shipping them across the Atlantic in air and ocean-polluting container ships – this is clean energy? Luckily, our friends at the scrappy and smart Dogwood Alliance are taking on the issue, and putting up a big fight. Their latest infographic tells the story, and their Southern Forests campaign is putting the pressure on European and US decision-makers to close the loophole and protect the forests for the sake of communities, wildlife and the climate.

Belinda Griswold